I missed another 2-0 night by a half-point as the Golden State Warriors hammered the Los Angeles Lakers 127-100 on Thursday night to tie their series 1-1. Golden State easily covered the five points by the NBA betting odds, but a 37-point fourth quarter meant that the game finished under the total by a half point. If you got a better number than 227.5, you either pushed or won though, so it’s possible that anyone following has had back-to-back 2-0 days. Let’s keep the momentum and good vibes going this weekend as we bet on Game 3 of Golden State and LA and Game 3 between the New York Knicks and Miami Heat earlier in the day.
NBA Betting Odds at BetRivers Sportsbook
Miami Heat -3.5 vs. New York Knicks
After splitting two games in the Big Apple, the series between the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks shifts to south Florida. The big question is the status of Jimmy Butler as the Miami star injured his ankle in Game 1 of the series and was unable to play in Game 2. Butler has been a monster this postseason, knocking down 58.5% of his field goals and 42.9% of his threes while averaging 35.5 PPG. However, ankles are always tricky for basketball players even though the Knicks are ready for Butler to return to action.
Julius Randle has been dealing with an ankle injury of his own, so he is very aware of what Butler is going through right now. However, Butler is the primary scorer for the Heat, and his presence is much more important than that of Randle to the overall course of the series. Randle was quoted as saying, “I got a lot of respect for Jimmy. You know what type of player he is, but mentally you know he's going to be locked in and engaged regardless of how he feels and he'll be great. We just want to make it as hard as we can for him and just limit our mistakes on our end."
Miami led the Knicks by a point entering the fourth quarter of Game 2 even without Butler available. Caleb Martin had a solid performance and Bam Adebayo helped run the offense to keep it close. However, Jalen Brunson proved to be too much for the Knicks. Brunson led all scorers with 30 points, and he took a lot of pressure off both Randle and R.J. Barrett with his performance.
The return of Butler will help Miami win Game 3 even though he won’t be at his best. The time off was good too as it gave him a much-needed rest.
Golden State Warriors +3.5 at Los Angeles Lakers
Following a loss in Game 1 to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Golden State Warriors had to go back to the drawing board in Game 2. Golden State got dominated on the free throw line in Game 1, and the Warriors made sure to adjust on that front. The two teams ended up with almost the exact same number of made and attempted free throws in Game 2, so there was no big edge there.
Indeed, the biggest edge was in three-point shooting for Golden State. The Warriors knocked down 50% of their threes as Klay Thompson was fantastic from downtown. Thompson hit 8 of his 11 threes to lead all scorers with 30 points. Steph Curry was content to see his Splash Brother take over and settled for 20 points and 12 assists, and Draymond Green almost had a triple-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists.
Anthony Davis continued his penchant for inconsistent play, and that’s something that is really bothering the Lakers in this series and in the playoffs in whole, Davis was expected to be a consistent producer to help LeBron James since he is in his 20th season in the league, but he has left something to be desired with his play. That has led to the Lakers relying on role players like Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves to win games. It also puts them in precarious positions against better teams like Golden State, so I’ll take the Warriors as a short underdog by the NBA betting line.